Slide Away

photo by Simone Badour

In reality, it takes just about exactly one second for the elevator doors to fully open or close. It takes no more than seven seconds to go from the first floor to the fourth floor, the top floor, my floor. It takes that long because this is an old building, complete with an old elevator. Maybe someday I’ll make it to someplace faster.

I am constantly disappointed by the lack of attractive girls on the other side of my elevator doors. Just once, I’d like to bounce out of #404, and for the rickety old door to slide open to reveal that brunette pixie from the third floor. The one with dangerously dark eyes, she was on the gymnastics team for a year or two in college. Maybe she’s wearing a skirt, or those trendy leggings, showing off toned stems, scars around the knees from all those years of falling off her skateboard. Young and tan, active and athletic. She wears the hint of a smile like she invented it, offering the suggestion of good times to be had.

Nope. Instead I get Juan, our building’s maintenance man. He’s friendly enough, with his scraggly goatee and paint smeared overalls. He’s always wearing a smile, though I rather doubt it suggests good times to be had.

Just once, I’d like for it to open with that cutie from the bar on the other side. That Irish girl with black hair and icy blue eyes. The one who’s only been over a couple of years from Galway, but with her accent still thick. Always up for drinks and adventure, she constantly kicks my ass in darts. The one who went on and on about socialized health care, and intricately detailed policy differences over Guinness at Kell’s. The one who had the unwavering attention of half the bar. With that accent she could have read the phonebook and we’d have fallen in love.

Sorry. Instead I get Paula from a couple doors down. Maybe a looker back in her day, more likely is that she’s never caught a break in her life. What’s left of her hair is matted and gray, and worn in an off-center ponytail. Do they make toupees for women? She’s got a kind heart and well over three hundred pounds of girth. I bring her flowers occasionally from the street vendor on the waterfront; she always signs for our deliveries.

I promise I’ll stop dreaming when that door slides open and I’m staring at that blonde haired, green-eyed college cutie from the second floor. She’s studying journalism or writing or something of an idealistic nature up at Portland State. Freshly 21 with rich parents in the West Hills, they pay for her to live in the city with punks and the bums and the rest of us. I heard she teaches yoga in The Pearl.

Unfortunately when the door slides open I’m face to face with Jeff from down the hall. He’s a rather large man, a union man, with a body that tells of hard living through weathered muscles and prison tattoos. He’s a good guy with two cats, 18 facial piercings, and only the hint of a drinking problem. He lets me bum whiskey and cigarettes when I stay up typing all night, and he’s always good for a dirty joke.

The worst though, worse than Juan or Paula or Jeff, is when I open the door and there’s no one there at all.

Please take a moment to check out Simon Badour Photography.

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7 responses to “Slide Away

  1. We’re always hoping for this right? But I think it’s good that it rarely happens – makes it more special when it does.

    There are certain people out there that can make your day just by being at the right place, at the right time. They don’t even have to say anything.

  2. Jeff seems like a good dude.

    I liked the way you ended this post.

  3. That’s how it always goes, right? We always hope there’s something prettier, or better, or hell, just more interesting on the other side of the door. And then, on those rare occasions that there is something on the other side, we’re always disappointed. Always. And we always want more.

  4. I second what Valorie just said. I tend to focus too much on all the things I “can’t” or “don’t” have that I completely forget to live in the moment and I am always searching for more. Why is that?

  5. You’ve made me laugh. Thank you.
    For a better conclusion to your story, you need to move to L.A.

  6. Sean, you’re getting too old for college cuties. #justsayin

  7. lol @ doni’s response. i don’t think you’re getting too old!! 😛

    and dude, yoga in the pearl!! they have some awesome vegan eats there, and smoothies. yum yum.

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